First speakers announced for HE FEST conference

The year’s most innovative conference on HE marketing, communications, recruitment philanthropy, engagement and AI HE FEST 24, kicks off in Adelaide on 11 September and the first wave of speakers in the program have been revealed.

The program will feature key speakers being interviewed live on stage by the Future Campus team in individual interviews and panel discussions, as well as presentations from people and teams shortlisted in the 2024 Future Campus Awards. The Awards, to be presented in 10 categories, have attracted strong interest from across the sector, with submissions closing in a month – on 15 July.

The conference will feature a range of plenary sessions, a gala conference dinner and tracks focusing on each stream.

“There has been huge interest in the Awards, which is really exciting, with some great entries coming through. These awards are going to be the premier awards for marketing, recruitment and advancement teams in Australasia this year, and will also recognise practical applications of AI in numerous fields,” Future Campus publisher Tim Winkler said.

“We wanted to recognise two areas which have tended to be overlooked in the sector over the past year or two. There have been lots of discussions about AI in assessment, but much less attention on the potential and the risks of AI in all other areas of operation. There have also been many changes in policy which could re-shape much of the sector, but without much evidence of Advancement professionals being involved in informing the future direction of higher education.

“This is a conference about practical solutions and discussing issues that might not come up at other events.”

The conference is being hosted by UniSA, providing opportunities to visit the campus mid-merger and hear about the challenges and opportunities in creating a new university.

We have already locked in a magnetic cast of experts to speak at the Conference, including:

  • Xavier Amouroux – Executive Director of Marketing and Communication at QUT – presenting insights into the changing face of domestic demand
  • Sarah Cutbush – CMO at UniSA – providing insights from the Adelaide University merger process
  • Ray Fleming – Chief Education Officer at InnovateGPT and former Google and Microsoft executive – on the future of higher education in a world where gen AI is ubiquitous
  • Ben Grindlay CMO from the University of Adelaide – providing insights from the Adelaide University merger process
  • Rory McLean – award-winning Creative Director at Adrian William responsible for cutting-edge campaigns across many sectors including HE
  • Franzi Pranke – Senior Account Director – Marketing Solutions – LinkedIn – a nationally-recognised leader in social media application and trends, looking at latest trends in digital channels
  • Professor Maree Meredith – Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), University of Canberra – an emerging national leader with insights into equity and Indigenous representation
  • Professor Andrew Norton – National leader in higher education policy – discussing impacts on domestic and international student recruitment as a result of a raft of changes in Federal policy
  • Stephen Matchett – one of Australia’s leading HE journalists, looking at what works in HE comms
  • Tim Winkler – HE Consultant, looking at the challenge for the sector looming in the next Federal Election

Many more speakers will be revealed over the next month, as we finalise the conference program.



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